Interview with Lillie Vale, Author of Small Town Hearts

I’m really excited today to share an interview with Lillie Vale. Lillie’s debut novel, Small Town Hearts, will be released this Tuesday, March 19th. I can’t wait for more people to read this amazing story, it’s definitely one of my new favorites!!!

So keep reading to hear Lillie Vale and I talk about writing advice, representation, and of course, her new book!


Continue reading

2019 in 12 Book Covers

Let’s be honest. We all judge books by their covers.

There is nothing better than a beautiful book with a beautiful cover to match, so I wanted to highlight some books that are coming out in 2019 (or already have) that have absolutely stunning covers. Admittedly, this is just an excuse for me to fangirl over some beautiful art, but maybe you’ll see something you love as well!

Now for some quick disclaimers. Naturally, this is all my opinion. Maybe there’s a cover I love that you hate, but I just want to shine a light on some of the gorgeous works of art that I know I’ll be wanting on my shelf.

Also, I’ll only be covering covers of books released from January 2019 – July 2019. A lot of later 2019 releases haven’t released covers yet, and I don’t want to miss some potentially gorgeous covers. So we’ll be doing the first half of the year in the post, and hopefully, later I’ll make a part 2 with the July – December releases!

I tried to find the cover artists for all of these amazing books, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find them all. If you know any of the artists I missed, please let me know so I can correct it!

Okay, let’s get started fangirling over books.

Image result for beautiful book covers 2019 ya

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Release Date:
1/15/2019
Genre(s): Historical Fantasy (Paris, 1889)
Cover Artist:

I love the entire color scheme. I can’t think of many green books, and this one is absolutely stunning!

36307634

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date:
1/29/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Billelis

This is a cover that gets better the longer you stare at it. There are so many details, and they become even more significant after you read the book.

Image result for beautiful book covers 2019 ya

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Release Date
: 1/15/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling (East of the Sun, West of the Moon)
Cover Artist: Sara Pollard

I’m absolute trash for illustrated covers, and I loved how intricate this design is. There is so much detail, and all of it relates to the story itself.

Related image

An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley
Release Date
: 2/26/2019
Genre(s): Historical Fantasy (France, the reign of King Louis XIV)
Cover Artist:

Another beautifully illustrated cover. It was the colors and the elegance of this one that really stood out to me.

36118682

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
Release Date
: 4/2/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist:

I just really love this cover, and this book in general. The cover really matches the atmosphere of the book and is overall gorgeous.

36430989

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Release Date
: 4/2/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Feifei Ruan

Soooo this is absolutely stunning and I can’t stop staring at it. From the art style to the color scheme, it’s perfect and beautiful and I’m in love.

35561260

Nocturna by Maya Motayne
Release Date
: 5/7/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Mark van Leeuwen
Design: Aurora Parlagreco and Jenna Stempel-Lobell

I just saw this book while getting all the covers saved to make this post and was blown away by the details in this design. I love the mosaic style used in the title, and the details in the design behind it.

36492488

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Release Date
: 5/14/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Simon Prades (Typography: Erin Fitzsimmons)

Okay this post is just turning into me going on about color schemes and illustrations, BUT LOOK AT IT! That typography? Zafira’s cloak and hair caught in the wind? Gorgeous.

39821312

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
Release Date
: 5/14/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist:

Usually, I’m not a fan of people on covers, but just look at how beautiful this is! This cover is breathtaking, and I can’t wait for it to be published so I can actually hold it in my hands.

42201395

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Release Date
: 6/4/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Charlie Bowater

Charlie Bowater can do no wrong. Any time I see a cover drawn by her, I immediately add the book to my TBR. It was Charlie’s cover on Margaret Rogerson’s An Enchantment of Ravens that got me to pick it up and fall in love with her Margaret Rogerson’s writing, so I was so happy to see her work on Sorcery of Thorns!

36683928

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
Release Date
: 7/9/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Tran Nguyen

This cover is just so pretty. I love the way the skirt of Maia’s dress fades into the background towards the bottom, I love the details in the fabric, and the beautiful color scheme!

38330596

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson
Release Date
: 7/9/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Tran Nguyen

I don’t really know what it is in particular with this cover that I love, but it is so stunning. Anthia’s expression just seems so intense, the amount of crows and the details on their wings is amazing, and I especially love the little crow sticking his beak into the “O” in the title. He’s adorable and he’s my favorite.

And that’s my list! Twelve 2019 releases with covers that I adore, and that I can’t wait to see on my shelf.

What’s your favorite book cover?

Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale – ARC Review

I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All quotes are taken from the ARC, and all opinions are my own.

36192190

Overall: 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Small Town Hearts is a fantastic read, with something for everyone, from an adorable romance to a great portrayal of the ups and downs of friendships.

“This was the summer that everything had come undone, unspooling our lives like the wickedest of storms. Now there was only the calm, the after.”

Continue reading

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott – Review

39939417

Overall: 3/5 Stars
Characters: 3/5
Setting: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
Plot and Themes: 3/5
Awesomeness Factor: 3/5
Review in a Nutshell: Five Feet Apart is exactly what you’d expect it to be. It’s a tearjerker romance with solid characters and decent writing, but lacked originality.

“Everyone in this world is breathing borrowed air.”

Continue reading

The Blood Spell (Ravenspire #4) by C. J. Redwine

35215746

Overall: 4.5/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4.5/5
Review in a Nutshell: The Blood Spell is a fun, adorable Cinderella retelling with lots of heart, although it isn’t my favorite C. J. Redwine book.

“Grief was easier to bear when it was shared with those left behind.”

Continue reading

Writing a Book and Finding Motivation

So, back when I was doing NaNoWriMo, and posting weekly updates (<shameless plug> click here to check them out! </shameless plug>), I got a great comment from Ruqs over at Many Things Bookish:

[…]Can you do a post on how you managed to write your novel?? Such as inspiration, motivation, ploughing through and battling writers’ block etc? Because I’ve really been struggling with this  I wish you the best of luck with the editing process!

So, first, go follow her. Her blog is amazing and you should definitely check it out!

I’ve been meaning to write up this post for months now. I wanted to do it in the first week of December, but then life kept getting in the way and now it’s March. But since I’ve finally started working on editing my book (and by started I mean I gave it to a friend to help me start), it’s about time I answered this. Sorry if you’ve already moved on and this post is too late to be helpful!

I’m still not sure how I managed to write this novel. I have it printed out and staring at me from within a binder, and whenever I see how big it is, I am shocked. 93,000 words is a pretty good number for a YA fantasy, and some might say it’s a little short, but it’s the longest thing I’ve ever written by far. So, how did I actually do it?

As for inspiration, it’s was a line in another book. I was reading something last July, and one line made me think of a line from Legally Blonde, which then made me think of a bizarre scenario that somehow turned into a plot, which then turned into my book. Naturally, there were quite a few brainstorming sessions between steps there, but otherwise, it was just a stroke of luck and a sleep-deprived mind.

I spent my summer talking with friends and trying to actually come up with characters to go with the vague plot I concocted, then I worked on a deeper plot to really flesh it out. However, I didn’t actually start getting motivated to write until September, when I saw that one of my favorite booktubers, Katytastic, uploaded a video on a new book she was writing. Seeing her enthusiasm, and how fast she was plowing through her draft, inspired me to actually take action.

But then I didn’t start writing for another month, but whatever.

Once I started writing, I used the NaNoWriMo website to track my word count and daily progress. While it wasn’t quite NaNo time when I started, I tried to keep up with a daily goal of 1,667 words a day. I’m really competitive, so seeing the chart that NaNo makes was all I needed to want to keep writing. Any break in my continuous word count growth would have ruined the pattern in my chart, so I couldn’t miss a day or slack off.

However, writer’s block still hit. A lot. Luckily, this recent book wasn’t as bad as my other manuscript, but I think I know why. I went crazy with my outline. I outlined all 27 chapters (which then became 28) with the major events and what needs to happen, then I split each chapter into ~3 scenes with their major goals. Whenever writer’s block would hit, I would just fight to meet those goals I set and finish out the scene. Those chapters are a little duller, but I got through them.

On chapters where my outline was a little sparse, it was hard to break through blocks. There were two ways I always try:

The first thing to try is stepping away. Sometimes, you need to take a break and relax a minute before jumping into your world. Maybe there’s something you need to work out plot-wise or in your world-building that doesn’t require actual writing. However, you can’t let your writer’s block keep you away for forever. No matter how bad it is, try to put some words to paper that day.

Speaking of putting down words, my other way to get past writer’s block is just by fighting it directly. If you don’t think you can write, and you have no motivation or inspiration, just reread your last chapter or so, and then write something. Anything. It doesn’t have to be good. Or useful. But if you try to work through it, you may find yourself slowly inspired.

So there, that’s my advice for writing, inspiration, motivation, and blocks. I hope that’s helpful. And I totally wasn’t doing this to procrastinate editing my book.

What’s your favorite writing advice? How do you fight writer’s block?

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith – ARC Review

39875158

*All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change*
Overall: 4.5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: Field Notes on Love is a light, cute read that you won’t be able to help but devour. It’s the perfect YA contemporary to make you feel gooey and happy.

“The truth is, love isn’t just one word. At least not for him. It’s different things for different people.”

Continue reading

March Releases, My TBR, & Updates!


Updates

Before I go into all the fun releases in March, I just wanted to talk about a few updates & changes for my blog. If you came here just to see my top 10, feel free to skip this and get to the books!

Continue reading

Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury – ARC Review

36230905

*All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. All reviews are unbiased and my honest opinion.*

Overall: 4/5 Stars
Characters: 4.5/5
Setting: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: Last of Her Name is a fun, fast-paced space adventure that is perfect for running through in one sitting.

“If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I always press the red button.”  

Continue reading

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller – ARC Review

*All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change. *

43446574

Overall: 4.5/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4.5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Warrior of the Wild is an addictive read. While it might have lacked some of the magic of Tricia Levenseller’s previous series, it still stole my heart.

“‘A man who finds his masculinity threatened by a powerful woman is no man at all,’ he says. ‘You want someone who lifts you up, not tries to bring you down.'”

Continue reading